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Environmental News

Diversified miner builds homes from gypsum

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th April 2011 The eMalaheni water reclamation plant, which produces gypsum through its acid mine drainage treatment process, has found a sustainable use for the by-product.  

Combining water solutions processes

By: Jessica Hannah     29th April 2011 Water solutions company Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies South Africa and national mineral research organisation Mintek have partnered to combine Veolia Water’s water treatment technology and Mintek’s acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment process. 

Ivernia puts Magellan mine on care and maintenance

By: Liezel Hill     7th April 2011 TSX-listed Ivernia has started placing its Magellan lead mine in Western Australia on care and maintenance, and said on Thursday it can not predict when operations will resume. The company's local subsidiary has started talking to employees at the site and its Perth office about potential job... 

Oil sands stocks slide on Alberta plans

By: Matthew Hill     6th April 2011 Canadian oil sands producers led the TSX lower on Wednesday after the Alberta government announced plans the previous day to cancel some leases in the province to protect the environment. The energy index slipped 1,4% by late afternoon, despite crude oil prices rising to $108/barrel. 

Shabangu delays Xolobeni decision by one month to April 25 

By: Christy van der Merwe     6th April 2011 A decision on whether or not heavy mineral mining would proceed at Xolobeni on the Wild Coast was further delayed as the Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu failed to meet a previously stipulated decision deadline of March 25. The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) first lodged an objection to... 

Ivernia halts Magellan mine again

By: Liezel Hill     5th April 2011 TSX-listed Ivernia has voluntarily stopped operations at its Magellan lead mine, in Western Australia, after finding lead in a sample of dried mud on the bottom of a shipping container sent from the mine site to the Port of Fremantle. The company did not say how long the shut-down was likely to... 

Romarco still targets mine permits, finance by year-end

By: Liezel Hill     4th April 2011 TSX-listed Romarco Minerals is still aiming to have the permits it needs to build the Haile gold mine in South Carolina in hand by the end of this year, CEO Diane Garrett said in an interview on Monday. The company is also aiming to have financing in place for the project by the third quarter,... 

Romarco emphasises no decisions made on permits

By: Liezel Hill     1st April 2011 Shares in TSX-listed Romarco Minerals fell sharply on Friday morning, after a South Carolina newspaper reported that the US Environmental Protection Agency has recommended against awarding a permit for the company's flagship project. Romarco shares were down 17% at C$1,84 apiece by 10:19 in... 

Chinese still sweet on nuclear - Cameco CEO designate

By: Matthew Hill     1st April 2011 The mood among Cameco’s Chinese customers remains positive regarding the country’s nuclear build programme, said president Tim Gitzel, who returned from a trip there this week. Speaking in an interview with Mining Weekly Online, he said Chinese nuclear power utilities would likely go ahead with... 

No end in sight to rare earth dearth

By: Matthew Hill     31st March 2011 Rare earth element prices are likely going to continue heading upwards, and China, which produces about 95% of global supplies, might halt exports altogether, an industry association warned on Thursday. “The general consensus is that it (pricing) is going to get worse before it gets better,”... 

Allied eyes PNG production restart

By: Matthew Hill     30th March 2011 Allied Gold, the Australia-based junior, said on Wednesday it would likely resume production at its Simberi gold mine in Papua New Guinea by the end of the week, after the government ordered a halt. Allied had completed repairs to the tailings facility at Simberi, and expected to receive the... 

Barrick closure plan at El Indio serves as model

By: Francisca Pouiller     28th March 2011 Barrick Gold's closure plan for its El Indio mine, in Chile, has become an example for other operations and companies in the region and will be used as a model for ageing mines the company owns in Peru, a company executive said. Barrick has spent $70-million on the closure of El Indio, which... 

Greystar studies 'alternate' project in Colombia, mulls underground mine

By: Liezel Hill     18th March 2011 Vancouver-based Greystar Mining says it will study "alternative options" for its Angostura project in Colombia, amid opposition to the planned mine from government and local communities, but is not withdrawing from the project altogether. The company will meet with government officials to... 

Despite declaration of sensitive lands, challenges remain

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th March 2011 The Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) decision, as stated at the 2011 Mining Indaba, to not grant prospecting or mining rights applications in areas of critical biodiversity and hydrological sensitivity has been welcomed as a much-needed and positive step in the right direction for South... 

Wonderfonteinspruit catchment area still a concern

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th March 2011 Uranium contamination of the environment from mines is an ongoing concern for surrounding communities in the Wonderfonteinspruit catchment area (WCA), west of Gauteng. 

Abandoned asbestos mine rehabilitation contract renewed

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th March 2011 The rehabilitation of abandoned asbestos mines is set to continue with the three-year renewal of mineral and metallurgical specialist Mintek’s rehabilitation contract with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). 

Uncertainty around enviro authorisation, land use planning

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th March 2011 There is uncertainty as to whether the environmental authorisation under the National Environmental Management Act, No 107 of 1998, and land use planning approval are needed to undertake mining activities. 

Consol will pay EPA $5,5m over water pollution

By: Liezel Hill     15th March 2011 US coal and natural gas producer Consol Energy has agreed to pay a $5,5-million civil penalty over Clean Water Act violations at six mines in West Virginia, and will spend another $200-million on pollution controls to reduce harmful discharges into streams and rivers. The company said in a... 

Gold miner welcomes Pravin Gordhan’s decision to set aside R225m for tackling acid mine water

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th March 2011 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s announcement in his budget speech that the government would set aside R225-million to tackle the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD) has been welcomed by troubled mining company Central Rand Gold (CRG).  

Shabangu to decide fate of Xolobeni in next 30 days 

By: Christy van der Merwe     24th February 2011 Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu would make a decision, within 30 days, on whether or not mining of heavy minerals, at the Xolobeni mine on the Wild Coast of South Africa, could proceed. This followed the Amadiba Crisis Committee’s (ACC’s) appeal of the granting of the licence, which... 

AMD report stresses ‘urgent’ intervention to avert crisis 

By: Christy van der Merwe     24th February 2011 The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) on Thursday released the long-awaited 146-page acid mine drainage (AMD) report, which was compiled by a team of water and geology experts, and presented to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on AMD in December. After assessing the situation in the Witwatersrand... 

Cabinet approves acid mine drainage report

By: Christy van der Merwe     22nd February 2011 The South African Cabinet has approved the recommendations made by a team of experts on the acid mine drainage (AMD) situation in the Witwatersrand, spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Tuesday. The report, which includes recommendations on control measures to reduce the rate of flooding and the... 

Randgold says carbon ranking based on incorrect data

By: Liezel Hill     16th February 2011 Randgold Resources said on Wednesday that its rating in the Environmental Investment Organisation’s (EIO's) 'Carbon Rankings Report' was based on incorrect information. The EIO ranked Randgold last in a list of 100 UK companies, in which rankings are based on greenhouse gas emissions intensity... 

Call for moratorium on new coal mining in Vaal catchment area

By: Loni Prinsloo     15th February 2011 A moratorium on new coal mining operations the Vaal river catchment area should be declared until the impact on the water resources was fully understood and adequate mitigation could be guaranteed, a speaker said at the inaugural South African Water and Energy forum in Sandton on Tuesday.... 

DMR releases Xolobeni report, concerns highlighted

By: Christy van der Merwe     11th February 2011 The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has released the ‘Holomisa Report’, which advises Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on the Xolobeni mining right appeal. The mining right was awarded to Transworld Energy and Minerals (TEM) in 2008, for the Kwanyana block of mineral sands on the... 

Miners have ‘wait-and-see’ approach to climate change 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st January 2011 The global mining sector is largely adopting a “wait-and-see” approach to climate change actions, with only a few companies implementing sustainability measures while others cite the lack of a business case to introduce any response, a KPMG survey has found. But in South Africa, the situation... 

Mining, metals board makes senior appointment as it intensifies efforts to combat climate change

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th January 2011 CEO-led organisation the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), which serves as a catalyst for an improvement of performance in the mining industry, has appointed John Drexhage of the Canada-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) as its new director for... 

More hearings on Xolobeni mine scheduled for Feb

By: Christy van der Merwe     26th January 2011 A second task team would be established to hear oral presentations by parties affected by the proposed heavy minerals mine in Xolobeni, which is located on the South African Wild Coast. The hearings would be held at the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) Durban regional office from... 

Flooding fears at Grootvlei mine as remaining pumpstation is functioning at 40% capacity – trade union

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st January 2011 Independent trade union Solidarity deputy general secretary Gideon du Plessis tells Mining Weekly that the union is concerned about the current situation at beleaguered miner Aurora Gold’s Grootvlei mine, as it has been informed that the only remaining pump station in the East Rand is functioning... 

Holistic solution needed to acid mine drainage problem 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st January 2011 A Team of Experts (ToE) appointed to advise the South African government on acid mine drainage has recommended a number of short-term measures to address the problem. These recommendations are benchmarked on some countries that have experienced AMD challenges, such as Canada and the US. 

South Africa’s AMD/wastewater is ‘mineable’ – Turton  

By: Martin Creamer     20th January 2011 Consideration should be given to studying the economic feasibility of “mining” South Africa’s problematic acid mine drainage (AMD) and wastewater for metals, minerals, salt and even hydrogen, says Touchstone Resources director Dr Anthony Turton. Turton is a protagonist not only of “mining” AMD,... 

US Ex-Im Bank urged to deny funding to South Africa’s Kusile  

By: Martin Creamer     19th January 2011 An environmental group is urging a US government-funded bank to deny finance to South Africa’s coal-fired Kusile power project, Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinal reports. Milwaukee hosts two giant mining machine companies – Bucyrus International and Joy Global – which have asked the bank to provide... 

University of Pretoria outfit joins enviro campaigners’ bid to stop mining at CoAL’s planned Vele colliery

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th January 2011 South Africa’s Centre for Child Law (CCL), which is run by the University of Pretoria, has now joined nongovernmental organisations and the Save Mapungubwe Coalition Group (SMCG) in seeking an interdict to stop planned mining and to protect the World Heritage Site. 

Sierra Leone grants London Mining enviro permits for iron-ore mine

By: Jonathan Faurie     14th January 2011 UK mining junior London Mining has been issued its environmental permits for the development and operation of its Marampa iron ore mine in Sierra Leone by the Sierra Leone Environmental Protection Agency (Slepa). 

Orocobre gets key govt approval for Argentina lithium/potash project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th January 2011 ASX- and TSX-listed lithium developer Orocobre has received environmental approval from the Jujuy provincial government for the development of its Salar de Olaroz lithium/potash project, in Argentina. The provincial Director of Mines and Energy Resources approved the project late last month,... 

Bridging the gap

10th December 2010 Civil engineering and construction company Esorfranki Civils is expecting to complete the construction of bridges at diversified miner Xstrata’s Arthur Taylor colliery opencast mine (Atcom) East upgrade project, at the end of the year. 

Moore defends proposal to hike WA mine-rehab bonds

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd December 2010 Western Australia Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore has called for public to comment on the proposed reforms to the state’s environmental bonds system, amendments that are meant to ensure that mine sites are adequately rehabilitated after closure. Moore argued on Friday that the bonds... 

Samancor opens five-million-litre-a-day wastewater treatment plant

By: Jonathan Faurie     3rd December 2010 Chrome-focused mining major Samancor Tubatse Ferrochrome has officially opened its new 5-million-litre-a-day (5 000-m3/day) integrated wastewater treatment plant, near Steelpoort, Limpopo.


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